Canberra, Australia (SPX) Jul 29, 2008
Researchers, growers and Industry specialists from 22 countries will share the latest research into the use of Brassica species, such as mustard, radish, or rapeseed, to manage soil-borne pests and weeds - a technique known as biofumigation.
"Brassica plants naturally release compounds that suppress pests and pathogens, principally isothiocyanates (ITCs), which most people would recognise as the 'hot' flavour in mustard or horseradish," says CSIRO's Dr John Kirkegaard, the conference convenor.
"When ITCs are released in soil by green-manuring, soil-borne pests and pathogens can be suppressed and the yields of solanaceous vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants can be increased by up to 40 per cent in some cases.
"The technique is relevant to developed countries seeking alternatives to banned synthetic pesticides such as methyl-bromide, as well as poor farmers in developing countries who often have few alternatives for controlling serious diseases in their crops," Dr Kirkegaard says.
"It can provide economic and social benefits, as improved crop yields lead to increased incomes, as well as a range of environmental and health benefits from a reduced reliance on fumigants and pesticides."
Using brassicas to manage soil-borne pests is not new, but modern science is providing new insights and techniques to enhance the reliability of the effect as part of an integrated pest control strategy. Brassicas can also provide other benefits to the soil as green manures.
Australian scientists are at the forefront of this area of research, in projects on tropical vegetable production systems in north Queensland and the Philippines, supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and on temperate southern Australian vegetable production, supported by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) using voluntary contributions from industry and matched funding from the Australian Government.
The Symposium will consist of three days of scientific and Industry presentations designed to stimulate discussions about the underpinning science, as well as the practical application of biofumigation technology in Australia and worldwide.
"The Symposium is an excellent opportunity to draw together the latest research on the subject from around the globe," Dr Kirkegaard says.
Email This Article
Comment On This Article
CSIRO Plant Industry
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Rising Energy, Food Prices Major Threats To Wetlands As Farmers Eye New Areas For Crops
Tokyo, Japan (SPX) Jul 29, 2008
Critical food shortages and growing demand for bio-fuels and hydro-electricity due to high fossil fuel prices rank among the greatest threats today to the preservation of precious wetlands worldwide as farmers and developers look for new areas for agriculture, energy crop plantations and hydro dams.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement|